A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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November (4 of 7)
A letter of intelligence from Mr. Butler.
I Had a very cross passage; twice I was at sea, and twice put back again to Gravesend. I landed here upon sunday the 2d of November at Flushing, but was so weakened by a heavy disease I had contracted at Gravesend, that I could not write before this. Now it hath pleased God to mitigate my pain, that I am recovering health again. Charles Stuart's levies are increased beyond belief; they say themselves they are eight thousand. As soon as I arrived at Flushing, I sent one into their quarters, by whom I find they are above six thousand. They have ten ships lying half a mile under Wynoxbergen, and five more are preparing at Marmaduke. Lord Muskerie, though he made difficulty to come over, when Conde was surrendred, yet now he is come with the most part of the Irish that were in France, which could not well be done without the cognizance of France. This is like to be a winter of action, which should oblige every man in his respective relations to use diligence and fidelity in the employment committed to his care. As I told you at first, so I tell now again, I am resolved to serve you with sincerity and uprightness of heart, because in doing so I conceive I perform a service to God; otherwise I should never have undertaken it. And I am confident I shall meet with the like sincerity from you, according to promise. By the assistance of God I shall give you an exact intelligence of the number, quality, and order of their forces. I shall give you likewise timely notice, where they intend to imbark, what number of ships they have, and what ordnance they carry. This cannot be accomplished without money; therefore I pray you remember my allowance. Let it be paid at Middleburgh to Mrs. Marie Shee, or her order. Let the bill be sent to me, and for the better security of the correspondence I pray you for the future use this description, To mons. mons. Goltbergh, merchant at Nimmeguen, to be left at the sign of the city of Isendyck at Flushing. I pray you let me understand by the first opportunity, if this letter be come to your hands, and if you could read it. I was in truth very weak when I writ it.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
They have redressed the title for the prince don John, so that he shall have given him hereafter that of your most affectionate servants and friends, provided that don John do give to this state its true title; that otherwise it is to be alrered.
The commissioners upon the affairs of Prussia made report to day, so that not by way of instruction, but by way of a memorandum, the ambassadors at Frawenburgh are to be instructed and authorized to mediate the peace between the two crowns, after that wise that all be restored in like manner as it was before this last invasion, and that the king of Poland do renounce the right and title, which he hath to the crown of Sweden, &c.
In what manner they write to the states of Groningen and Omlande is to be seen by the inclosed copies. The plaintiffs are not very well contented, in regard there is no time limited, in which they are to satisfy their complaints.
The ambassador of Spain hath made a complaint, how that the commander de Rees had given passage to 100 French horse of Thionville (which he of Weisel had refused) to plunder the country of Geldre. This is referred to the hands of commissioners, and they speak of writing to the commander about it, not to suffer any considerable troops to pass: some say the number was not above 45.
The resident of Denmark hath signified by the president, that the treaties between his king and him of Sweden are to be re-assumed by the intervention of him of Brandenburgh, who sendeth the lord Keleyst.
There hath been a complaint, that the writer of the news books had printed, that the Spanish officers have made use of the king's money, instead of paying the soldiers; upon which those of Holland have undertaken to inform themselves.
There hath been a debate about the execution of the pension due to the deceased prince of Orange from the country of Outremeuse. The lord of Gent urging, that the same ought to be paid out of the revenue, the council of state advised, that the revenues are in the hands of the Spaniards; so that the lord of Gent had as well from the lord president as others a capitulum ad aures for his opposition: likewise, the prince is already paid, there remaineth no more to do than to reimburse the receiver. A conference is to be held about this with the council.
There hath been great stir to supply the place of counsellor in the council of Brabant. The lord Beverning did endeavour to get it for his brother-in-law, but the lord Wolssen, one of the States General prevailed, so that it was offered to the said lord Wolfsen; but in regard the salary is given to the lord Kenskol, and that the lord Wolfsen is to expect the death of another counsellor, he deliberateth whether he will accept of it.
The commanders being returned from East Friesland, have made report, that they proposed to those states the last resolution of this state; to which these states declared, that from the commanders they appeal to those that sent them; and presently after the wedding of the duke of East Friesland they will send their commanders hither.
The lord president hath minded them of the guaranty made between this state and Denmark, that it was time, and more than time, for the ratifying of it; upon which the provinces are admonished to procure of their principals the ratification.
The king of Spain hath writ to this state, that he is pleased with the residence or ministry of the lord de Reede, near his person; as the lord ambassador of his majesty here hath also signified, that the residence of the lord of Sasburgh was agreeable at Brussels; upon which was said, that the lords commissioners of this state upon the first occasion do go and give thanks to the said lord ambassador for it.
This day the lord Beverning reported, that the time prefixed for the ratification of the treaty of guaranty between this state and Denmark was already expired, and that therefore it was but reasonable that it should be ratified; upon this the provinces are again admonished to ratify the same; and without doubt, the same will be ratified within few days; and it is observed, that this admonition is made by the side of Denmark, having fear.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
It is very true, that they would not give no new instruction to the ambassadors of the States General, to be made use of in their mediation; but yet, however, they did it under a name of a memorandum, whereof all the substance is, that they will endeavour to induce the Polanders to submit to the Swede all his right and pretence upon Sweden, which would be to the satisfaction of the Swede; and then again, to induce the Swede to quit the Royal Prussia, which would be to the satisfaction of Poland: and as to Brandenburgh they are to use all manner of caresses towards Brandenburgh, to induce him to use the like persuasions towards Sweden, to make him quit the Royal Prussia; and then the said ambassadors are by that means to remit the Brandenburgers in the good favour of Poland and the States General are to pass an act of guaranty to Brandenburgh, to maintain him against Poland, in case that one day he should do any ill to Brandenburgh; and that will be a satisfaction for Brandenburgh. But, in the mean time, the greatest satisfaction would be for the States General for by the states of Holland they would get all the commerce; as in effect, they are also the cause, that those of the protector have quitted the Dantzickers, and they will play yet some other pranks. I know from a very good hand, that several considerable officers of Charles Stewart are gone from hence to Dantzick, with an intention to debauch the nations of Cromwell, which dwell there, and to seduce others of the nation of Cromwell against their own desire and inclination, who did a long while oppose it; but the States General or the states of Holland did force them by the treaty of the 10th or 13th of July, a thing which is contrary to the interest of Dantzick itself, for by that they have lost the nation of Cromwell, being removed to Elbing; but states of Holland would not do any thing for Dantzick without that; and yet Dantzick will have offended thereby the the protector, for those of the protector had pacta quadam specialia with the protector.
I know likewise, that at present the Dantzickers have no bad inclination of friendship with Sweden, but by a private practice of the states of Holland (whereof the other States General themselves know nothing) as also by the practice of Denmark, those of Dantzick do persist in unity: in short, the states of Holland are subtle practitioners, and all their design is to have all the commerce alone in East Sea, with the cooperation of Denmark and all this chiefly to the prejudice of Cromwell.
An intercepted letter.
Your favour of the first instant came not to my hands till wednesday last, or else you had received an account of it sooner. You mentioned two letters, which you desired to have returned; but we, that is the brotherhood, have strictly examined the post-house every week since you made the Hague unhappy in your departure, and could never find any more than one directed to you, which was sent you this day se'nnight by Albertus Magnus de Secretis Mulierum. We find by your safe arrival, that Neptune heard our prayers, to whom we sacrificed whole oceans of better liquor than he is master of, in hopes he would be civil to you; nor were any of the sea-nymphs for your sake lest uncaressed, though you cannot but remember, how little civility we used to have for that sex. Phillipie is well, and still the same. The lady you saw with her is in limbo, or rather a worse place. Each glass that passeth is christened Ranulph, in the best element this place affordeth, though all is but weak to Balthazar. Sir, pray be assured, there are no commands within my power, that shall not be readily performed, nor none without, that shall not be desperately attempted by
The Dutch ambassadors in Denmark to Ruysch.
Our last to your lordship was of the 19th current. By that of ours of the 12th of the same month, you will have seen, that we in the absence of the king and the lord Ryckshossmaster had communicated to the lord chancellor their high and mighty lordships resolution about the treaty of Elbing, bearing date the 23th of October. We have since that given the like communication thereof to the lord Ryckshossmaster. As soon as he returned to this city, both the said lords came to visit us yesterday about the same in our lodgings, and signified unto us; that his majesty had received the said resolution of their high and mighty lordships; with special acceptance and satisfaction; but that his majesty having perceived, that there was not finally resolved by their high and mighty lordships about that which concerneth the inclusion of the city of Dantzick, did seriously desire to have recommended, that the said treaties might not be ratified, till such time that all that should be redressed and put out of the treaty, which might give any obstacle to the said city, why they cannot accept of the said inclusion. We answered the said lords upon this, that there might appear both to his majesty and their said lordships by the said resolution, how much their high and mighty lordships were inclined to condescend to those of the said city; in all what in reason could be desired; in regard, they not only declared their intention not to be, that the clause speaking of amity and good correspondence, should oblige those of Dantzick; but besides, they had desired of their present envoy in the Hague further explanation, whether by the lords, his principals, any was found offensive, either in the terms, expressions, periods, or otherwise, that so their high and mighty lordships might have given the desired explanation; or, if need had been, to have prevailed with the king of Sweden for the effecting thereof: thereupon, the said lords replied to us in these terms, that in case by those of Dantzick any thing could be moved concerning the said inclusion, which might give a new scruple, whether the same could be taken into consideration for to have it redressed: we returned this answer to their lordships upon this, that his majesty's ministers in the Hague, if need be, could be further instructed, to communicate with the envoy of Dantzick there about the same; and if so be, that any thing should be made to appear worthy of consideration, and so presented by the said envoy of Dantzick, that the same would be taken into serious consideration by their high and mighty lordships: we, in the mean time, will humbly offer to the consideration of their high and mighty lordships, whether it will not be serviceable and convenient, that about the manner of the said inclusion, the same may be managed and disposed with joint consent and communication of his majesty, as much as is possible; not only because it will give the most content here, but also, that they may know in what manner the said city of Dantzick is to be included, according to the opinions of their high and mighty lordships, in the treaties which are to be concluded between Sweden and this kingdom, upon the negotiation which is to be erected here; and therefore, we will endeavour to learn what further opinion his majesty hath about this business, than what hath been already communicated unto us, and hath been writ to their high and mighty lordships, and which with the inclination which their high and mighty lordships have shewn in the said resolution is altogether conformable; and we shall advise your lordships concerning the same by the next post. The said lords did also declare to us, that his majesty being desired by the duke of Brandenburgh to enter upon a treaty with Sweden, had declared to his ambassador before he went from hence, that he was not unwilling to it; provided, that the same be with the consent of their high and mighty lordships: and in regard the said ambassador is returned back to this city, and that daily a Swedish ambassador is expected here, to make overtures for the said treaty; that therefore his majesty desired to know of us, whether we were instructed concerning the same by their high and mighty lordships; but answer being made by us, that we had indeed advised their high and mighty lordships of the said mentioned answer of his majesty to the said ambassador, but that it was desired by their high and mighty lordships, that before they took any resolution upon the same, they might be informed of his majesty's intention, and that we desired the same, and that they would be pleased to give us some overture thereof; thereupon their lordships said, that his majesty had not yet taken any resolution concerning the said treaty, and that before he took any, he would expect the overtures from the king of Sweden; and that their excellencies did very well understand, that we could not well be provided with any particular instructions upon such a subject, but that their lordships would only leave it to our consideration, whether it would not be serviceable that their high and mighty lordships should give us a general charge to observe in the said negotiation the interests of their high and mighty lordships, that so we might have no cause to complain afterwards. We gave his majesty and their lordships thanks for the good affection, which they did thus openly declare towards their high and mighty lordships. We undertook to advise their high and mighty lordships thereof, to expect their good pleasure upon the same.
At the instance, which we made, to the end his majesty might at last be disposed to grant our desire upon our memorandum concerning the salt-company, that in case his majesty had any further scruple to make about it, that he would be pleased to declare as much, that so we might give him satisfaction therein, if we were able; the business was at last brought so far, that the said lords entered into a conference with us about it in the behalf of his majesty; but in regard we, in particular discourses, upon the objection which was made to us, how that his majesty was necessitated to erect the said company, to look to his safety against the increase, which the Swedish power by sea had received by the like means, amongst the rest, had answered, that his majesty would find his security by fit means in a near union with their high and mighty lordships, and be cultivated more and more; thereupon the said lords took hold of this in the conference, to declare to us, that they would not enter into debate with us about the memorandum delivered by us, but they desired to know of us, if so be, that his majesty condescend to their high and mighty lordships, should call in the octroy given to the salt-company, what means could be proposed by us to give his majesty some satisfaction for the abolishing of the said company, whereby his majesty would happen to lose a great support, for the security of his kingdom: but in regard we answered to that, that their high and mighty lordships desired the disannulling of the said octroy, by virtue of the said treaty; and that the inclination of their high and mighty lordships to co-operate to the security of his majesty's kingdoms, should be always perfect, as we had declared upon several occasions; but if so be, that there was any thing more desired by this side about the same, that they would be pleased to acquaint us with it; thereupon their lordships said in general terms, that the alliance which this crown hath with their high and mighty lordships, might be made more near and more binding; and told us, that his majesty would consider of our desire concerning the said octroy, with his council, which is to meet e're long; and that their lordships would do their best endeavours to determine the same, to the consent of their high and mighty lordships, which have good hope to believe will happen accordingly; if so be, we, with the good liking of their high and mighty lordships, in this present conjuncture, can agree with his majesty about the ampliation of the treaty of alliance between this kingdom and their high and mighty lordships resolution, formerly sent to us; observing, however carefully, that these two businesses be not confounded with each other; but in regard, a new negotiation is at hand between Sweden and this crown, and that the reasons, which moved their high and mighty lordships to authorize us for the amplifying of the said treaty, through the new engagements made since with this crown, do seem to be more increased then diminished, we do think fit (under correction) to act according to their high and mighty lordships resolution, and our orders; if so be, they desire it of us, to enter into treaty with them about the said ampliation, and we do resolve to conclude the same, if so be, that we can effect it, according to the intent of their high and mighty lordships resolution, whereby the business of the said octroy of the salt-company, which is of so great importance to their high and mighty lordships, will be effected to their content; upon all which, we desire to know their high and mighty lordships resolution and intention; for unless we are commanded to the contrary, we shall endeavour to conclude what we have here writ, concerning the ampliation of the treaty of alliance with this crown.
The lord Cleeft arrived here four days since as ambassador of the duke of Brandenburgh, to reassume the treaties between this crown and Sweden. The king, in the mean time, hath resolved to send some body to Dantzick, to look after the treaty there between Sweden and Poland, which may be begun there; as also, to satisfy his majesty of Poland upon his request made to this king; to the end, a minister might be sent to him from hence, to receive overtures of some weighty affairs, for which employment the lord Rosewinge is designed.
D'Avaugour to Bourdeaux, the French ambassador in England.
It is not only the march of the Swedish army, where I have been for these five weeks, which hath hindered me writing, but also the little advancement of affairs, as well of the war as of our negotiation; the first having not produced any thing since their passage over the Vistula, than the retreating of the Polish horse, and the other having had no consequence since my return from Dantzick, whereof I gave you advice when I came away; and what I brought to this court, which deferred to answer till the interview of the king of Sweden with the elector of Brandenburgh, who is come hither from the army to go to Holland, whither he went this morning. He left his army under the command of Steinbock, and upon such a passage that it can destroy and hinder the Polish army from entering into Prussia. He is resolved to return to his army after this conference, which is to produce the last resolutions for war or peace. In regard this hath suspended hitherto our negotiation, you must pardon us, my lord, if you please, that we suspend our judgment, not being able to judge with certainty of the issue, which will be seen within two or three days, whereof you shall be informed by the next.
A letter of intelligence from Madrid.
My last was of the 11th current. As yet I have not heard one wourd from you, and since my last no occasion has offered wourthey your notis. Now the confirmasion of the fgeut of the Kanisar of Portugal/Pantha is come, and in Marga there are greath stirrs abouth it, all the 61 dgo has offered Sparker /king of Spain to goe themselves in person, and ingage all they are worth for the reducing of Portugal/Pantha. Within two or three days there will be a council/council abouth it, till then nothing will be resolved. Sparker /king of Spain has sent above twelve ships/stakes to aggwg the fish, and that from severall places of sligo only to ax them of yxr stakes to be in the way; and from Cadiz/Clyrr, there will goe together to aggwg only about sixteen. The Clam has offered Sparker to maintain and 119 upon there own charges to keep of sligo, only to abath them a certain plate they pay hem yearely. In this there is nothing resolved as yet, and moreover to buld to eavery yeare during the war/warfer with yx. They writt from 151, that Protrax is very sickly. Forget not, that Ix wander in myne of the 27th of 7ber, concerning one to be sent from Liner to 151, to give inferrence. Cocke Dcbqklgo has wandered to me of a certain bussunes, of which I make no question, but he will give you an accompte of it. I pray advise/ax me de of such as you received. I would you had apointed one in Barbara to Rad such as Ix would send withouth ax ing hem my bcag, becaus you may see Ix have not neglected in any thing. I pray forget not mine of the 11th current.
A letter of intelligence.
These parts afford little worthy the expence of a letter or trouble, only the princess of Orange takes her journey for Flanders first on monday next. How long she will stay there I know not. She hath been much courted to stay in these parts all this winter, especially by the cardinal, who to endear her to his request, hath profered to make a sumptuous ball for her; but nothing can dissuade her from her resolutions; and the rather, in regard of the prince of Orange his being sick of the meazles, but on recovering, and past danger. I was much troubled at your former letter, especially at the grum sir's reply to you; but I am well versed in his nature, and know that bargeman-like he roweth one way and looketh another. If any of my creditors fall into your way, you will infinitely oblige me to urge it with what modesty you think fit, I shall not stay long here, but an answer of these letters, and then I shall shift my air, where let it be in any part of the poles, you may confidently conclude you have a friend that really loves and honours you as himself.
Lockhart, ambassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
If yow have received myn of November 22/12 (which by reason of the interruption received by mons. d'Lion's visitt, missed the carrier hear, and was sent to Rowan to be delyvered to him their) you will perceive, that my ill addresses and the delayes and incertainties of them I have had to do with, are lyke to give a unhappy conclusion to the affairs yow trusted to a person very unfitt for their management. My regretts for it are inexpressible, but I shall not give you the troble of them. I shall have the honor to kisse your hands, your last (which I did not receive till thursday morning) giving me hops, that may be very speedily.
Before I take leave, I shall once more presse the business of Dunkirk. 'Tis possible he may find it his interest to give way to some things stuck at, whyle there was hopes of gaining them by delayes. I shall also endeavour to know his last thoghts concerning 403 223 378. He seemed to be satisfied with what was proposed concerning that affaire, excepting some particulars not verie matteriall.
I received your promise of an order for my return with that gratitude, which becometh one, who oweth all he hath to you. I hope tuesday will bring it, their having no letters come from England by the yesterday's post. If it come then, I shall (if it please God) be ready to embarke at or upon fryday come sennight, which will be the 28th of Nov. O. S. and must beseech your honor to order a frigott to meet me there against that tyme. I desyer to return that way to evitt the charge of convoy, that I will need, if I goe thorrough Picardie; howsoever, if at return of the order, I find yow have appointed any other tyme or place for my embarking, I shall obey your commands.
Having nothing of moment to trouble yow further with, I beg leave to hope, that at my return I shall meet with the continuance of your goodnesse to one, who hath many miscarriages to account for, and who will not dare to appeare at cowrt withowt the assurance of your protection; a favor I cannot meritt, and yett must plead for with all the zeal that can be expressed by,
May it please your honor,
I have sent that wyne, that is fitt to be drank before May, to Rowan to be shipped. I have taken the boldnesse to send along with it two little vessels marked with T. to your honor. The wyns fitt for summer drinking are not yett come this lenth. They shall be boght so soon as they arryve. This I have now sent is such (as if it come safe) I am confident there hath not at any tyme been better French wyn in England. I am, may it please your honor,
A letter of intelligence, concerning some designs on foot.
Though I cannot serve you at so exact a rate as I desire, yet I shall most justly and truly acquaint you with all such passages, as I can guesse may relate to your service. And if the season were not so violent, I could rather wish that I had discoursed this to you then wright it. Sir, there is a person, whose name, as I am told, is Dobson, one who was formerly a collonell in the pretender's service, and if he be not now imployed by you, he is certainly ingaged in a business of great consequence against you; for upon wednesday last he went towards Callis, where a passe exported him, to convoy him into Flanders to — He was sent for over in great haste, and his son came for him, and is gone againe with him. He is to be the principall guide for the designe in hand, which he himself hath long pressed Charles Stuart to; and it is, that they intend to land, if they can, at or about the place called the Deepes neer Lin, and to force that towne, if it can be had no otherwise, and to secure themselves in the isle of Ely till their friends appeare for them, bringing with them armes and ammunition great store; and upon this enterprise; I doe verily believe they will ingage such men, as they have got together abroad, or can make up at home, and that e're it be long, as they pretend. Sir, though this may seem improbable to you, yet it may serve to acquit me of my duty towards you, and from men in a desperate condition few wise things are to be expected. Their money is almost spent, and their men decrease daily; so that they, as it is thought, will venter them, how hopelesse so ever the designe be. They speake of 6000 men, and the duke of Yorke, with Wilmot, Bristow, &c. and one hundred horse. Sir, I most humbly begge of you to let me heare wheither this came safe to you, and I shall continue my dilligence in serving you, being most dutyfully, sir,
An intercepted letter to lady Hall from her husband.
Dearest loving and respected wife,
Just nowe they swet letter comes to my hand, dated the 8th of these present mounth, by which you accuze the reception of mine of the 24th of the last. Since I have write you the 4th of these mounth, in answer of yours, dated the 7th of the last, for answer of these. I am glad to hear they saiftly arrival at thy jorny's end, but sorow to hear that thos two rouges, that have gon with thee, have offer thee any abuse. God keep the from their hands and all other enemis, and give thee all happiness in all thy proceedings. My only joye, thow afflict mee to tell mee, that thow art resolve to goe for Flanders, and not com any more to London. God knowes what little comfort it is to mee to hear such thing, and what little hopes it is to mee to meet thee againe. If thow leaves me hear in these condition, without any friend, nor any thing to help myself, but what thow hath leave mee, which must goe all away for removeing myself to the fleet, where I thought to a gon last week, if it had not been for the hopes, that every prisouners have to see an act of parliament according to my last; soe that I am resolve to stay a little longer, if it will com out or not; otherway I must need remove, for I am baisly use and not like a Christian; and I verily believe, that they are sett by som of my adversaryes to take away my life, if they can: soe, my dearest, consider what joie or comfert I can have, being soe far from thee, and so used. Pray, my love, if be possible, doe me som help, for I must need remove afore the terme be ended. Thow hath mighty broaken my poor sad heart, to tell mee, that nothing can alter thy affection from mee; pray God it may bee always soe; for my part, thow may bee confident, that if I had a thousand years to live, that I will be reall and constant to thee, if I wheare to beg for it, for thy sake and our poor baby, which is in thee, to which I weesh more joie then wee have had, and God Almighty to bles him, and give him is grace, and to wee both alsoe. Pray, my love, tell mee what service doth Churchey doe to thee their; I beseech thee, not to trust in him at all, for hee is with thee like to a catt to a mous, till such time as hee can gett the upperhand uppon thee; then thow may be confident hee will play thee a treeck: soe look to yeet; for I should break my hart, if I should hear any such thing. Adieu, my dearest, adieu, till our next meeting: I kees they hand, and remaine for eternity
A letter of intelligence from Mr. Blanke Marshall.
I received yours, and for your care of me I humbly thank you; I wish I may deserve the continuance of your favours. I shall endeavour to fulfil your desires here in all things to my power. I have at present little to add to my last to you; only lord Bristol is not returned from don John, neither is any enlargement of quarters given for king Charles's men, more than I wrote to you in my last, neither do I see any great hopes of it as yet. Things go not so well here with king Charles as you expect. I hope you will take some course to apprehend those persons I named in my last letter. The county of Flanders hath moved don John not to let his soldiers have free quarters, and they will maintain him 12,000 foot at six stivers per diem, for all that shall quarter in towns or country, with lodging and fire, and for a 1000 horse, and full pay for officers, which is much for that county. The other night there was stolen out of a church here the treasure belonging to it, which is said to be done by some of king Charles's followers. I do expect that commodity by the first, for my merchants do long for it.
A letter of intelligence from Mr. Vernatti.
Most honourable and my ever honoured lord,
Yowr lettres, my lord, as this did at Dort of November the 7th, find ever with me a respect, with a welcom in a more then ordinary passion; for in them I hope to see my failings noted with some instructions how to mend them for the future; but whether by means of your noble disposition towards mee, or a good angell advancing my ingenuous endeavours to effects pleasing to you, my actions are so far from incurring checks hitherto, that in all I can perceive they com approved by you, as well in what is passed, as in what I am to steare for the future; however it be, either your affection instrumentall to providence, or providence rendered inclinable by force of your good inclinations, the benefitt redounds to me and mine in a perfect shower of blessings; before which I must drawe a curtine as Tymante did, feare least theire greatnes stuppifie my senses, and render my gratitude questionable. I humbly submitt to all the great obligations, my good Lord, your honour hath upon me; with a perfect and honest intent to rendre the benefitt of them serviceable to no other end, then the advancement of your interest. You do, without the least if, impower me to educat my sons at your sole and great cost — I promise to frame you servants, if I can, as able as faithfull, if ever they may arrive to the honour to com employed by you; and have appointed my cousin Bressy a marchand of the societty at Dort, one of habilitie and integritie, to transmitt upon any occasion that can happen with securitie and expedition, your comands to me, and more to endeare him, have not refused upon his request, to give him a letter of addres to you. For which (if a presumption) I humbly begg your pardon; his dessein going no further then to the honour of kissing your hands, and (being wealthy) during the time of his stay there, to lest secure under the shelter of your power. Favour him (I humbly beseech you) with the honour of a fight to you; for having wit, wealth, and discretion, he may happen to become at som time no unusefull instrument. Here appeare nothing to me worth the naming, but that the articles with the king of Sweade remain unratified still; and licke so to be yet, till we can see no more to mend ourselves. It is said, that we have 1200 men att Danz. yett. Interest on all sides, it seems, that which way soever the beast falls, it may light on the right side; and having but little to tell, I will entertaine you with what som of our ambassadors write, not so much to tell you newes, for they are to comon to be so; but to lett you see, that I use all possible means to instruct myself in the manner, that may best conduce for the best intelligence. The resident Asburch with d. John, Nov. 11th, stilo novo, made a long relation of the loss of the Spanish plate, with a total imputation of the cause upon the vice-admirall, whom he charges with a correspondency kept with your party for a reward of 150,000 dollars for his service. In the end, that don John remained at Ninelle still. Comissary Pells from Danzick, Nov. 9. that Coningsmarck was prisoner in the fort of Wyselmunde. That Oxesterne was dead the 2d of Nov. of a burning feaver after a weeckes sicknes. The Pole had taken Ganit and hanged two burghemasters. That ambassadors ware com from the Muscovites to Brandenburch, and say, that theire master was ill satisfied in all them that had advised him to the seedge of Riga, and nowe totally left. That Conte Alangart French ambassador was arrived there, and the Holland ambassador expected. From Frawenburch in Pruysen and the Dutch ambassador Dorp, and the rest, Nov. 3. that the king of Sweade was arrived there, and the queen gone for Sweade with a prosperous wind. Oxesterne dead. The contrie sad. That Berenslawe king's secretary was com to complaine to them, that Coningsmarck was taken in fight of theire shipping before Danzick. That the king had sent before in the behalf of Shippenback taken in lyck mannor before, and that he did loock for redres at their hands; because, if they had not toock upon them to secure the peace during their stay, that himself would have made better provision: they answered, that they had sent to the states, and would send again, to knowe their sense of it. That Conte de la Guardie had sent word of Riga relieved, and the totall departure of the Muscovites out of Lyfland; of a 1000 horse, sent in their pursuit, without notice yet of the successe; that the Muscoviter is in a great wrath against the advisers to beseege Riga, and that he had sent one to capitulate with him for cessation of armes; but that having no comission to admitt conditions, he was gon to the king of Sweade to treate further. That they meant shortly to be at Danzick, to meete the king of Pole, and to acquit themselves of their instructions to him. That stormes had hindered them, and the wayes by land extreame bad. From your ambassador Neweport to . . . . that general Montacute was com with one of the prises, the other parted in a storme and landed fins at Portsmouth. The prisoners and plate sent for by a sufficient convoy of hors. That a newe lord mayor was chosen, with a particular of the usuall ceremonies by water and land. That a supplication day had been appointed. At Westminster three sermons preached by doctor Goodwyn, and two others. I expected a peece of the sermon, or som reason for this history; but he supplied it with a proposition made in parlement; to make the present power hereditary, and made an end, with the army's officers unwillingnes to it. It is a state in a good constitution, where ambassadors, though able, are tyed to short and needeles relations; and is that, which such as know, could finde in their hearts to blame you for, if a more deliberate judgment did not tye their wills to an admiration. I have admitted in ons or twise writing (as unlyckly) that prins Condé was about to invade the land of Cleave under a Polish comission, but will not be done so soone as said. The Hollander's interest will prove no small obstacle. What is worthy heere of your knowledge is not in mine yet (being but arrived this morning heere) after three days and as many nights tedious tossing by mistie and stormie wether upon these lardge and ugly waters, with scarce time enough to send my letter to the poste before parting, forced to write it a ship-board, not to fayle of my ordinary dutie. Almighty God preserve your honour in long lise and health, and give me habilities ever to give greater testimonies, that I am,
Dr. N. Bernard to secretary Thurloe.
I have inclosed three of Dr. Gauden's letters, the one a summary of the disposition of ministers in Essex, the other in London, and the third a short narrative of both. I have beene ill this weeke. This day was the first I could walke abroad, and had some speciall busines to have represented, but found it unseasonable. That person, who was with your honour on thursday, is in great wants, and desires me to remember you of him. What you shall please to send him shall be given him by
Dr. John Gauden to Dr. N. Bernard.
Reverend sir, and my very worthy freind. I find the minds of ministers (however differing in some principles, rather of polity than piety) to be moved toward a fraternall accord as to the maine. I hope it may bee from a good angel and with healing. Not only Presbyterians and Independents, who seemed more symbolising, but even episcopall men, whose antipathies seemed irreconcilable, are upon a very calme temper. I have spoke with severall men of both sides, and with some that are masters in Israel. I told you the result of Gamaliel's discourse (I meane that person, at whose feet most of the Presbyterians in London and elsewhere doe fit) which was in the prefence of a person of honor, formerly hot enough upon that interest. I should be glad to fee that effected, which then seemed confented to; that the succession of ministeriall order and autority might be preserved most unquestionable by the happy accord of bishops and presbyters; that there might bee presidency and counsell in the government of the church; that sound doctrine, holy lifes, brotherly love, sanctity of dutys, might be restored and preserved to this reformed church, whose decayes and dangers are from that scattered and confused state it hath beene in and still is. Truly, sir, I believe nothing would bee more welcome to the minds of sober ministers and gentlemen of all forts, than to see somthing revive like the beauty, solemnity, and unity of religion, which is not only its honor, but its safety against popery and other enemyes of the reformed religion. Nor will any thing more oblige men to civill peace and willing subjection, than when they find themselfes satisfied, and posterity like to be blessed by soe great a blessing as is a well setled church, noe lesse than a well ordered commonwealth. I know your prayers and endeavours in your spheare will not be wanting to promote that, which is one of the cheife desires of all good men, that truth and peace may flourish; which is the highest ambition of,
Dr. J. Gauden to Dr. N. Bernard.
I Doe not despaire of beating our swords into plowshares, since I find the animositys and distances of the episcopall and presbyterian partys much abated, who having litle advanced their private or publique interests, by their scufflings about government and discipline, begin now to see, that their joynt concernment as to the honor and succession of their ministeriall function depends much upon their fraternall harmony and union, which if once sayrely obteined among these two great partys, the third, which is upon a more solitary and private account, and is differenced by the name of independency, would easily cement with them, since they each ayme at order, counsel, and modest liberty. I am the more incouraged by the discourse I have had with diverse of each party, which appeare grave and good men, especially one diocesse that hath been a great antefignanus of the presbyterian party, whom you know well. Hee before a person of honour expressed this candor, that yf were moderated, he should be glad to have a bishop or president (for he scrupled the old name as lesse current with many people) among the presbyters chosen by them, durante vita bene gesta; that nothing should bee done in ordination or other great actions without the president and the major part of the presbyters; that he would willingly contribute to an honorable mayntenance of the president. That actions passed in common should bee under noe divided notion, but as united in a joynt society. I confesse, it were more politick, that the president's allowance should come from the munisicence of the cheife magistrate, that soe such a dependance and great regard might be had that way, as which would be farthest from faction or sedition.
Hee seemed content, that the succession of episcopall or presidentiall power should bee orderly derived or transmitted from those bishops, now remayning, yf they pleased to joyne in this union; yf not, that others might as suffragans pro tempore bee chosen. My earnest desire is, that there might bee noe such interruption or intercalation in point of succession, which hath been soe antient, in this and all churches, by which the scandall and imputation of schisme, or cessation, or innovation, might be avoyded, as to the Papists calumnys and others, that are lesse friends to the ministry and order of the reformed churches.
The truth is, unlesse some such way be taken for the harmony of religion in externe administrations, or order, we are like to leave to posterity not a seameless coate, but scarce such raggs and parcells as will cover their nakednesse, or protect ministers from vulgar con tempt, which presseth too much upon them. The greatest disadvantage lyes on the episcopall party, who being mostwhat outed of their places and imployments, cannot but have as much discountenance as they have discouragements, unlesse soe much favour may be allowed them, as upon their good behaviour they may be admitted to exercise their guifts in some setled employment; else it will bee a cold invitation to any accord, when they stand exposed to poverty, idlenes, and obscurity, who might bee used as burning and shining lights, to the good of the church of God and the peace of this nation.
It would much advance a chearfull and fraternall accord, yf some such favour might shine upon these, as would keep them warmer, not make them wanton: as it would favor of great charity and clemency, soe I believe it would noe way undermine the public peace or present power, to which all wise and good men will conscienciously pay all due observance, as that ordinance of God, which is visible among us in point of civill power and protection. That lord, that was present at our discourse, seemed very much addicted to the proposed moderation and union, nor doe I doubt but it would be very welcome to the most of all sorts, that are persons of piety and gravity.
The greatest abatements of religion arise, as I conceive, from the sad divisions, which have been soe pregnant among ministers, which makes many first indifferent, then looss, then profane, and at last atheisticall, both in their opinion and practises, pretending, that where nothing is setled, there can be nothing sacred. You know well it is noe hard matter to find out the primitive paterne as to church order, which the incomparably learned and pious lord primate both described and proposed sometime in his papers, which you imparted to mee. I presume, that yf that good old way as to the mayne were followed, few would desire to wander from it, when they saw nothing of vanity, pride, pomp, or tyranny in it.
I know the God of order, grace, and peace, can only make men to be of one mind, which I hope he will blesse us with, when our harts are prepared to endeavour and embrace soe happy an union, which would bee much to the honor of religion, both as Christian and reformed.
I found hym very much off from lay-elders, wishing only such censors (as he called them) who might best assist in some cases parochiall ministers, as to the point of scandall and unfittnes for the sacrament of the Lord's supper, which all of us ought, as they antiently did, preserve as much as may bee from ignorant or prosane or incharitable intruders.
My ayme and harty prayers is, that all sides might meet in this center, the glory of God, the good of mens souls, and the decorum of religion, which are best carryed on by such a ministry as hath abilitys, autority, or due mission, competent mayntenance, and comely order or goverment among themselves.
I confesse the former practise was somwhat warped by secular policys and private mens frailtys from the primitive paterne and simplicity; nor did the presbyters or people more seek their owne right than the bishops safety and honor, when they contended, that he might doe all things with joynt counsell, and not without the peoples consent, soe farre as they were concerned, to bee well perswaded and satisfied in the minister they had, not imposed on them, but recommended to their approbation; dislikes breeding distances between ministers and people, which marrs the great work of converting or strengthening men in the wayes of Christ, which ought to bee the mayne end of all our studys and labours, that soe we may through many infirmitys attayne the comfort of sincerity before God's tribunall, which is first set up in our owne conscience.
I am now upon the decline and evening of my life, nor should I joy at any thing more before my sun set, than to see the Sun of righteousnes shine in his full vigor and lusture of religious truth, power, peace, and order, which are the healing wings or beames of our blessed Saviour.
In this integrity I apply to severall men and minds, hoping that I may bee some small instrument to promote soe good a work, the want of which hath made great waste in the reformed religion of this church, and threatens more, yf there bee not some blessed way of right constituting us in such a frame, as made Christian religion soe renowned in former times. I am sorry that superstition should outgoe the reformed religion in any thing that is eyther comly or commendable.
The church, I know, is as St. Jerom sayth, embarqued in the commonwealth; whose late great stormes (or tempests rather) have beene the excuses for the churches or religions unsetlednes and deformitys; but I hope, when the publique is come to anchor, and consistence in civill affayres, regard will bee had to the reparations of religion, whose ends are not carnall and temporary, but spirituall and eternall.
Sir, you will pardon my wonted and incorrigible fault of prolixity, which is the more veniall, because in soe great a matter and to soe good a freind, whose favour encourageth mee to such excesses, as may best shew you the confidence had of your love to